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Flights to Istanbul

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Last minute flights to Istanbul

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Prices shown below were available within the past 3 days for the period specified and should not be considered the final price offered. Please note that availability and prices are subject to change.
Birmingham Istanbul
Fri, 15 Dec BHX - SAW
Mon, 18 Dec SAW - BHX
-21 %
£252 £200
Prime price per passenger
Kutaisi Istanbul
Sun, 21 Jan KUT - SAW
Prime price per passenger
Bucharest Istanbul
Thu, 14 Dec OTP - SAW
Sat, 16 Dec SAW - OTP
£100 £99
Prime price per passenger
Manchester Istanbul
Sat, 09 Dec MAN - SAW
Wed, 13 Dec SAW - MAN
Prime price per passenger
London Istanbul
Sun, 10 Dec LGW - IST
Tue, 12 Dec IST - LGW
Prime price per passenger
Karachi Istanbul
Sun, 10 Dec KHI - IST
Wed, 13 Dec IST - KHI
£348 £337
Prime price per passenger

Trips to Istanbul

What to know about Istanbul

Originally known as Byzantium in the 7th century BC, modern Istanbul is a spectacle to behold. Over thousands of years, Istanbul's constantly evolving culture has been a product of influences from all over the world. Renowned as the most populated city in Europe, Istanbul is a treasure filled with opportunities for adventure. Boasting a rich history that features odes to Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, and more, few cities can measure up to Istanbul's long legacy.

During your travels throughout the city, you can expect to encounter astounding architecture, sights of historic, cultural, and religious importance, and, of course, stalls filled to the brim with delectable foods. From the Column of Constantine to food tours, which straddle both sides of the continent, there’s something here for everyone. Unsurprisingly, each year, over 13 million people visit Turkey’s most famous gem, and with good reason.

Here at Opodo, we’re seasoned travellers, which is why we’ve put together this exclusive guide on how to plan your perfect Istanbul trip and experience. Whether you’re looking to spend a weekend in the summer or a longer trip over winter, opportunities with us cover all tastes.

Here is a tip for you: booking your flight and hotel at the same time and not separately can make you save up to 40%. Take advantage of a flight + hotel package in Istanbul to your destination and save time searching for hotels separately. If you have already purchased your flight and you’re only looking for a hotel, you can find it here.

Seeing Istanbul in a weekend

Heading out for a weekend trip in Istanbul, but unsure as to how you’re going to cram in all your sightseeing adventures? Rest assured, whilst you might not be able to take in ALL Istanbul has to offer, there’s certainly a lot you can experience in a few days.

One thing to factor into your considerations from the very get-go is the time difference: keep in mind that the time in Istanbul now is two hours ahead of the UK, so you’ll have to adjust your plans accordingly. We’ve compiled just a few of our must-see hotspots in this beautiful and bustling metropolis, but this is by no means a definitive list. Along the way, we’d recommend you adopt a flexible approach and incorporate spontaneous ventures as and when the opportunities arise!

Day 1: Try Istanbul’s doner kebabs

To ease you into the first day, we recommend taking it slow. After you’ve deposited your bags at your hotel, we’d suggest scoping out the local amenities. You can get an idea of some tourist sightseeing trips by picking up brochures and leaflets from your hotel’s reception desk, as they always have handy paperwork with summaries of what to do in Istanbul, as a visitor. Of course, what’s on offer will depend entirely on how far from the city's hotspots you are. But don’t worry, there will always be options available.

The best way to recharge and ease into the culture is by getting something to eat, and what better way to start than with something authentically Turkish? If you’re like us, chances are you’ve eaten many doner kebabs in your life, and now’s the perfect chance to try Istanbul’s authentic take. Vegetarians and vegans can also check out kızartma, a fried vegetable dish found all over the city.

Following your meal, consider taking a walk around one of Istanbul’s many luscious parks like Emirgan (great in spring) or Yildiz (walk between the trees on rope bridges!), and rest well for a big day coming up tomorrow.

Day 2: Visit the Hagia Sophia

The second day of your trip gives you the time to explore deeper into the full range of Istanbul’s experiences. To begin with, consider a full traditional Turkish breakfast. Available in Istanbul all day, don’t worry if you slightly oversleep, you’ll still be able to catch this hearty breakfast food. Called kahvalti, this meal generally includes olives, cured meats, cheese, fresh tomatoes, pastries, eggs, and dips. Once your stomach is full, it’s time to weigh your choices for the busy day ahead.

Fans of architecture and history can consider the Byzantine-style Hagia Sophia, one of the most impressive and longest-standing churches in Europe. Once a Christian church, the Hagia Sophia morphed into a mosque to reflect the city’s rapidly diversifying culture and religious evolution. Also of note are the Basilica Cistern, the Suleymaniye Mosque, or a simple walking tour around the old town.

When night falls, a tour of the Bosphorus River reveals a fantastic view of Istanbul’s many illuminated landmarks. If you’re after local drinks, local guides can help with pub crawls while testing famous Turkish raki. Partiers might also find a home at Kadikoy or Uskudar, which are famous for their active club scenes.

Day 3: Shop at the Grand Bazaar

The last day of travel is the time to consolidate what you’ve experienced and put a cap on your unforgettable Istanbul adventure. The most popular area to visit, by far, is the Grand Bazaar. One of the world’s most famous shopping sites, the Grand Bazaar is full of wonderful and weird gifts, alongside an appropriate final meal before you head out. Just remember not to get too caught up and miss your flight, no matter how tempting another few days might seem!

In order to discover the beautiful landscapes of the surroundings, you can always rent a car in Istanbul and travel the open road.

FAQs on your Istanbul travel

What’s the name of the Istanbul airport?

Istanbul features two international airports. To the western and European side of the city is the Istanbul Airport. To the east and Asian side of the city is the Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

Which airlines offer direct flights to Istanbul?

There are four major airlines that fly directly from London to Istanbul. These include:

How can I request assistance for children travelling alone?

To request assistance for children travelling alone, you should contact the airline you’ve booked with. It’s best to check with an airline before you book to see what level of support it offers for children travelling alone, as not all services will be equal, and some might not offer support.

How can I travel with an assistance dog?

To travel with an assistance dog, you must contact the airline your purchased tickets from. Note that not all airlines will offer the same level of support for assistance animals, so it’s best to check policy thoroughly on airline websites before purchasing a ticket.

How do I find cheap flights to the destination city that have flexible change policies at Opodo?

When you book with us, you have the opportunity to sort your flights by cost by using the cheap flights tab. Once you’ve found a flight you’re interested in, clicking on it will bring you to a page that will reveal the different flexible ticket plans available.

How can I book cheap hotels on Opodo in my destination city?

Booking with us allows you the opportunity to conveniently include hotel stays in your search. When planning your trip to Istanbul, all-inclusive arrangements can be made by using the flight and hotel tab to book both elements simultaneously and save up to 40 per cent.

What baggage do I need to check on my flight?

This will depend on the airline used, so be sure to check their official policy before buying your tickets. Checked luggage will usually have weight limits and size limits before it becomes more expensive. You can’t usually check electronic items, they’ll require storage in your carry-on.

How can I check in with Opodo?

With Opodo, you can check in by printing your ticket and showing it to the corresponding airline desk at the airport. Some airlines, like British Airways, also provide online check-ins via their website.

Do I need to pay a cancellation fee if I cancel my flight from my departure city to Istanbul?

Cancellation fees will depend on the type of ticket you purchased and the airline you booked with. Flexible fares will tend to have lower or no cancellation fees but are also more expensive. The cheaper the ticket, the more expensive the cancellation fee will tend to be.

How do I know if my flight is eligible for compensation?

If you booked a flight with us, then you’re open to compensation if the flight arrived at its final destination at least three hours behind schedule. Compensation is available if the flight is delayed thanks to a fault from the airline (bad weather doesn’t count).

Key Istanbul airports information

Sabiha Gokcen International Airport

Top airlines

Relatively newer, the airport operates many of the budget and internal airlines including: Aegean Airlines and Etihad.


It is situated 35km from the southeast of central Istanbul, closer to the Asian side.

Transport options

There are multiple options including the TEM highway, private bus (Hava? and Havata?) and trains.

Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Top airlines

The busiest airport in Turkey handles over 20 million passengers a year. Among a number of airlines, the main ones that use this airport include: Delta Airlines, Adria Airways and Emirates.


The centre for Turkish Airlines, the airport is located 24km from the mainland city.

Transport options

Having been operating for many years as one of the main airports in Turkey, transportation to and from the site is readily available and well-situated. There is a metro service which runs along a number of routes, Seabus which takes the passengers on a facilitated ferry as well as public buses, taxi and rental car services.

The best time to visit Istanbul

The best time to book a flight and hotel to Istanbul will depend on your wants, needs, and budget. For example, if you’re looking for the best weather the city can offer, you should consider mid-spring and autumn as the optimum times to visit Istanbul.

However, in general, the weather here is usually mild. Going in spring nets you the chance to see the flowers blooming in April’s Tulip Festival, with temperatures of around a maximum of 17℃. Meanwhile, Istanbul’s weather in October is around 20℃ at its highest, which is manageable. Even with packed streets and tourists galore during these more popular months to fly, the city’s charm is evergreen.

Another option, if you’re more focused on the experience itself than the weather, is travelling with an Istanbul all-inclusive tour. This package deal will help you to create sweet, nostalgic memories of the old walled city.

If you’re looking to experience the local music scene, you’ll probably be best flying over in June and July. The Istanbul International Music Festival is typically held during this time and celebrates the nation’s broad musical history and culture. The Istanbul International Jazz Festival is also held around this time, so it could be an ideal “two birds, one stone” situation.

If you’re on a budget, you might look to the December to February period as the best time to plan your trip. This is the cooler season in Istanbul and, naturally, one of the quietest. This means you’ll have more choices as to where to stay in Istanbul, and they’ll likely be cheaper too.

FAQ's about Istanbul

How can I find cheap flights to Istanbul at Opodo?
At Opodo you can find flights from £17 to Istanbul. Our offers are the result of a combination of different technologies, machine learning algorithms and real searches form our customers in our platform, so you can get the options that better suits your needs when flying to Istanbul.
When's the best time to book flights to Istanbul?
The top month to book flights to Istanbul is July, based on our Opodo UK customers. The next most popular booking period for Istanbul flights is September. In third place: August. By this we mean when travellers book their tickets. For the best time to actually travel to Istanbul, read on.
When's the best time to go to Istanbul?
We checked our customers' flight searches, and the winner of best time to fly to Istanbul is... August. The next best month to travel to Istanbul is July. And let's not forget October, the third top choice for when to go to Istanbul. However if you prefer things on the less busy side, we can also tell you (quietly) that the least popular month for flights to Istanbul is January.
Which airlines fly to Istanbul from the UK?
Airlines flying direct from the UK to Istanbul include:
  • Turkish Airlines, which flies from London and Manchester to Istanbul plus from Birmingham.
  • Pegasus Airlines, which has flights from London and Manchester as well as null to Istanbul.
  • AtlasGlobal, with flights from London to Istanbul and Edinburgh and also from null.
Indirect flights from the UK to Istanbul include:
  • Aegean Airlines, which flies from London and Manchester and also from Edinburgh.
  • Ukraine Intl Airlines, with flights from London and null to Istanbul plus null.
  • Lufthansa, which has flights from Birmingham and London as well as from Manchester to Istanbul.
What are the cheapest airlines flying to Istanbul?
Looking at the prices of our customers' bookings from UKto Istanbul, your best bet for cheap flights is:
  • Pegasus Airlines: average one-way price of £147.78 , with London to Istanbul an average of £144.01 and Manchester from £164.54.
  • Turkish Airlines (one-way average: £167.02) : this includes an average price from Edinburgh to Istanbul of £121.14 and also flights from Birmingham costing £138.49.
How early should I be at the airport to take a flight to Istanbul?
What is the name of Istanbul’s airport?
Istanbul is served by 3 airport[s]. Istanbul Airport airport operates flights towards both domestic and international destinations within 203 cities, such as London, Manchester and Baku, the most popular routes.
How far is Istanbul’s airport from the city centre?
Istanbul’s airport Istanbul Airport is located 21 miles from the city centre.
How much does it cost to travel from the airport to the city center of Istanbul?
By Public transport: The price for the trip is about 0.31 GBP per person. By taxi: If you have more budget and prefer to take a taxi from Istanbul Airport , for example, the average price for the ride to Istanbul centre is around 0.45 GBP per km. By car: For more convenience and freedom during your stay, Opodo has the best offers of car rentals in Istanbul. Pick your preferred car type and get from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul city centre on your own terms.
How much should I budget for a trip to Istanbul?
If you are going to Istanbul, here is a list with an average price of some goods:
  • - Inexpensive Restaurant: 3.14 GBP
  • - Mid Range Restaurante: 15.71 GBP
  • - Cheap Restaurant: 2.75 GBP
  • - Domestic Beer: 1.73 GBP
  • - Imported Beer: 2.36 GBP
  • - Coffee: 1.27 GBP
  • - SoftDrink: 0.46 GBP
  • - Water: 0.18 GBP
What is the weather like in Istanbul?
If you're looking for summer vibes, the best time to travel to Istanbul is in June, July and August, when the average temperature reaches 25.39 °C, while July, May and June are the 3 sunniest months of the year, with an average of 141.07 hours. If you prefer colder temperatures, however, make sure you visit Istanbul during the months of January, February and March to experience an average of 8.05 °C. For those who don't care too much about temperatures, but want to avoid getting wet in the rain, it's important to avoid travelling during July, February and April, when the average precipitation in Istanbul is 6.58 mm, while the months of January, February and March are drier, with an average of 0 mm.
Airport code IST The IATA code for the arrival airport on flights to Istanbul is IST
Most popular airline Turkish Airlines Most popular airline with flights to Istanbul
High season August According to search data from our customers, August is the busiest time to fly to Istanbul
Low season January According to search data from our customers, January is the least busy time to fly to Istanbul

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